Kinsler inches closer to All-Star start

Kinsler inches closer to All-Star start

Ian Kinsler is still in line to become the third Rangers second baseman in club history to start for the American League in the All-Star Game.

Kinsler continues to hold off Dustin Pedroia to lead AL second basemen in the latest update of the All-Star fans balloting for the July 14 Midsummer Classic in St. Louis.

The other two Rangers second basemen to start an All-Star Game were Alfonso Soriano in 2004 and Julio Franco in 1989. Soriano was the Most Valuable Player of the 2004 game when he went 2-for-3 with a home run in the American League's victory in Houston's Minute Maid Park.

Franco did not start the game in 1990 but he was the MVP that year when his two-run double gave the AL a 2-0 victory.

Josh Hamilton, who is on the disabled list, is third among AL outfielders. He had been running second but has been passed by Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki. Angels outfielder Torii Hunter is fourth. Hamilton underwent surgery two weeks ago to repair a partially torn abdominal muscle and it's still unknown if he'll be ready by the All-Star Game even if he's selected to start for a second straight year.

Fans can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times with the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint Online Ballot at MLB.com and all 30 club sites until July 2 at 10:59 p.m. CT.

Starting rosters will be announced during the 2009 All-Star Game Selection Show presented by Chevrolet on TBS on July 5. Baseball fans around the world will then be able to select the final player on each team via the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint Final Vote at MLB.com.

And the voting doesn't end there. Fans will have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet at the Midsummer Classic via the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint MVP Vote at MLB.com.

The All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX and around the world by Major League Baseball International. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio play-by-play, while MLB.com will offer extensive online coverage.

If Michael Young goes back to the All-Star Game for a sixth straight season, he will have to be voted in by the players or selected by Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon. He is a distant third among third basemen.

Among other Rangers, Chris Davis is fifth among first basemen, Elvis Andrus is third among shortstops, Jarrod Saltalamacchia is fourth among catchers and Nelson Cruz is ninth among outfielders.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.